Chris Cooper (00:00):
Which gyms in the world make the most money? My name is Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym.” Every month, we produce leaderboards for the top gyms in the world in a bunch of different categories of metrics. We wanna know who’s the best at retention, at client value, and this month we ask “who is making the most revenue?”
Chris Cooper (00:21):
After we develop this leaderboard and figure out the answer across thousands of gyms, we publish it for free for you. We interview the leaders, and we give you their responses so that you can make more revenue, too. If they’re doing something really different, we interview them in depth, and we add that to our curriculum inside the Two-Brain Business mentorship practice for all the gyms that are inside Two-Brain so that they can copy verbatim what these owners are doing. Today, I’ve got some amazing tips from the top 10 gyms worldwide for revenue for you. You’re gonna be surprised to see where some of these gyms are. I cannot wait. I am so excited to share these with you. I’m so proud of the owners and their mentors that help them get there—and their teams, who are building bigger, more meaningful careers because these gyms are driving more revenue. I’m also thrilled for the clients at these gyms, who are getting better health and fitness outcomes because they belong to gyms that are popular and that can keep ’em around for a long time and are gonna be there for the next 30 years.
Chris Cooper (01:20):
So let’s get into this leaderboard. I’m gonna start with Number 10 and work my way up to Number 1 because some of these numbers are unbelievable. I want you to know, though, that every number that I give you is in U.S. dollars. So while some of these gyms come from places outside the U.S., we’ve converted their revenue into U.S. currency so that we’re comparing apples to apples. Cool, here we go. Starting with Number 10, this gym is out of the States. They’re actually in South Carolina. They’re frequently on the leaderboard. I know this isn’t their best month. They’re coming in at Number 10, but it’s still an amazing month, and knowing that this is, you know, a fairly consistent month for them is even more impressive. So Number 10, this gym is earning $53,199 in revenue last month. Hey, one more thing we do here.
Chris Cooper (02:07):
We make sure that this is a standard month for them. It might be their best month ever, but it’s not their best month by like 300 percent, right? They’ve been working to get to this point. What we wanna do is separate out the gyms where the owner has just taken like a quarterly dividend last month, and so, you know, they earn earned $20,000, $20,000, then $50,000, then $20,000, $20,000. We wanna go as much as possible with kind of a rolling average to make sure that they’re consistent. The other thing that we don’t do, that we never do, is report projections. You’ve been fooled by that. I’ve been fooled by that before. You see these guys on Facebook ads and they’re like “this is a million-dollar gym” because they project that they’re going to make a million dollars over the next year. We don’t count anything until it’s happened, until that money is actually in the bank.
Chris Cooper (02:54):
So Number 10, $53,199 in revenue in April 2023. Amazing. We’ve got some good tips from them. Number 9, working our way up here, $55,202. This gym, you’re gonna love this. This gym is in Chile. Now this is in U.S. dollars. Again, they have a lot of members, but it just goes to show you that where you are in the world is less important than you might think. A lot of the times what I hear from gym owners is “well, I’d love to charge that” or “I’d love to make a great living with 150 members, but I am in the,” you know, fill in the blank, “the poorest demographic in my state, the lowest-income demographic in my country.” I don’t know how it’s possible that 500 people have told me that they live in the lowest-income demographic in the United States, but they can’t all live in the lowest-income demographic.
Chris Cooper (03:46):
And if they’re running a coaching business, then, you know, they might want to think about where they’re placing their gym. What’s interesting about this gym in Chile is that they’re not in like the highest-income areas of Chile. They do have a lot of members. They also have a really great ARM, and I love having them on the leaderboard. I’m so proud of them because it shows that you can be successful anywhere. Number 8: $55,681. This is a U.S.-based gym. They’re in kind of a Southern state, not a very high-income area in that state. That state itself is not generally regarded as a high-income state, but these guys are just doing amazing by attracting people who really fit their culture, who really want to be coached and who see the value in coaching services. So that’s Number 8.
Chris Cooper (04:37):
Number 7, $57,200 in revenue last month. That’s again, one gym. This is a CrossFit gym. They’re in the States—$57,200 last month. They’re not in New York City. They’re not in San Francisco. They don’t have a bazillion members. They are still on the revenue leaderboard, and I’ve got some great tips from them coming soon. Narrowly edging them out in Number 6 is $57,519. These guys are on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. They did a little bit more with personal training, but I’ve got an amazing tip from Number 6 coming up for you. You’re gonna love it. They call it the “321 model.” I’ll get to that. I’m so excited to share it with you. And Number 5: $59,878 collected in revenue last month. Again, these are not projections. This is not what they hope to make. This is the actual money that they took from their clients and exchanged for value. Number 4, also from the States: $62,912 cash collected last month in revenue. Number 3: $67,266.
Chris Cooper (05:43):
Amazing, right? Number 2 though, and again, remember, this is in U.S. dollars, $69,121 in revenue, and they’re in Canada. In Canadian dollars, that’s over $80,000, but converted to U.S., $69,121 is good enough for second spot on our leaderboard. The Number 1 gym on our leaderboard earned $81,531 in revenue last month. They’re in the States. They’re in the Midwest. I’m super proud of them. Let’s hear how they did it right? Like these are great numbers. And I’m not saying this to shame you. If your gym’s doing $15,000 or less like my gym was doing once upon a time, I’m using these people to inspire you, to show you what’s possible. Because until now, nobody in the fitness industry—let alone the microgym community, let alone the CrossFit, high-intensity interval training, strength and conditioning community—had any idea of what was possible or what they should even be gunning for.
Chris Cooper (06:39):
You know, it’s like when the first guy squatted a thousand pounds. None of us knew it was possible, and so nobody set their sights on it, but after he did it, five or six more people did it the next year. And so the reason I’m sharing this Number 1 gym, $81,531 in revenue, is to inspire you to beat them. Get there. It’s possible. You can do it. All right, let’s, let’s get into the tactics. That’s what I love. How exactly did they do it? Now that we know who they are, now that they’ve proven they can do it, what can they teach us? Here we go. So we interviewed each one of these gyms and we asked them “what’s your top tips? How did you get there to these high revenue numbers?” And I’m gonna share them with you in no particular order, but I am gonna call out No. 6 because he’s got this “321 strategy” that I think you’re going to love.
Chris Cooper (07:28):
So first, top tip Number 1: “$70,000 a month has been a number that we’ve been working on keeping. We’ve been seeing those numbers for a couple of years. A lot of it is varied, slow and steady growth. But over the last six-to-nine months, we’ve worked on retention and other points. We’ve worked specifically on growing personal training or our membership base.” So the key here to growing retention for this gym was focusing on one thing at a time for a little while. They focused on just growing personal training. Then they focused just on growing group membership for a few months. Then they focused on retention. And they’re doing this in about 90-day sprints: “So for the next 90 days, here’s what we’re gonna focus on.” If you’re focusing on retention, you can start with “here is our LEG, our length of engagement. Right now, our goal over the next 90 days is to increase our length of engagement by one month.”
Chris Cooper (08:17):
You know, and you can work in these six, these 90-day sprints and focus specifically on one area at a time. That is way more powerful than trying to improve retention, personal-training, group-class attendance, coaching proficiency—trying to improve everything at one time. There’s a lot of wisdom in that quote. The second one said, “Well, we did increase our rate in classes from March, and also we’ve started working on professional development in the last 18 months. We’ve had a big refinement in our coaches. Now we meet weekly with our coaches. We invest time and energy into them. We talk specifically about how to coach better. We give them checklists. We review all of our team announcements. We review Bright Spots Fridays. We give them challenges, and we brainstorm ways for them to remove obstacles for our clients to make progress. We also have Career Roadmap sessions where we give them entrepreneurial opportunities and a seven-day plan.”
Chris Cooper (09:12):
So what’s interesting here is that while they are working to make the coaches better coaches, what they’re actually mentoring their coaches on is how to build better careers. So if you look at what they’re doing here, okay, evaluating, yeah, super important, right? You have to have a good standard of service Next you know, Bright Spots Fridays: “What progress are our clients making? How can we remove obstacles to our clients’ progress?” So they’re actually talking about the programming and the delivery and the outcomes. Then they’re talking about entrepreneurial opportunities: “How can you grow your own income or grow your career as a coach while growing the pie for the entire gym?” And that’s an amazing way to grow revenue in your gym. And then finally really mentoring the coach. “What can you work on over the next seven days?” So if you want to improve your coaches, you probably don’t need to send ’em to another seminar.
Chris Cooper (10:04):
They probably don’t need another certification. What they need is an evaluation, a plan, and then like a seven-day very specific plan—what to work on. Okay? Next. This came from another top 10 gym for revenue. “Retention is our focus. We work to find products for our customers instead of customers for our products. We’ve been getting the staff to buy into this because it doesn’t feel like overselling. We know that people go outside of our facility for different services that we don’t offer. So our first focus is always on helping, getting them solutions to their problems. So servicing personal training and nutrition and group, and then being consistent with that has helped us maintain our client base.” So this gym has really focused on doing a great job of keeping the clients that they had and giving them a 10-outta-10 experience in whatever service they were paying for.
Chris Cooper (10:55):
Then they started looking to onboard other potential services. This next gym said, “Acquisition is going well, but we’ve really turned our focus to servicing the clients that we have.” Aha! That’s two gyms so far on the top 10 leaderboard for revenue who say “we’re focusing on servicing the clients that we have really, really well.” They also moved everybody to a 2023 rate. They got rid of discounts. They moved everybody to pay for the value that they’re currently providing instead of the value that they provided way back in 2018. That’s really key. As you’re upgrading your service and improving your coaching, you are increasing your value, and you should charge accordingly. Okay, this was some really interesting feedback, though. “We do provide a lot of value. The experience is unlike any other gym. There’s nowhere else on Earth that you can go to give you the same experience. We have a full package, and that’s hard to find.” Okay? Now that’s interesting, but listen to this: “Our demographic is older. They are looking for function. Look at the population cohort of the Baby Boomers. They’re more educated and affluent than the generation before or after. It’s wise for gym owners to focus on this demographic. Our average age at our gym is 64 and female. Generally we have 70 women to every 30 men in our gym.” Now, the key here is that they know their target demographic, and they focus on that. There are other target demographics that you can have. The Boomers are a great one, absolutely. But if you’re really gonna focus on them, it can’t be as a sideline program. You can’t have like death metal playing and then you turn that down to like classic ‘70s rock at 11 a.m. for one hour. You really have to be focused on that demographic.
Chris Cooper (12:42):
Okay? Now here’s what I promised you. All right, so this was the Number 6 on the leaderboard. This guy has this “321 strategy” that I’m about to share. So this gym owner we interviewed, he’s on the leaderboard. You’re going to hear him in an upcoming podcast. He said, “This will sound obvious, but with our team, we focused on the acronym that I made up: ‘321 to a perfect class.’ Check in on three people by name. Have two touchpoints for every person in the class, and make one connection member to member.” And that’s what’s driven their referrals—3, 2, 1. So call three people by name. Create two touchpoints for every person. Like talk to each person at least twice. And connect one person to another new person. “And that’s what’s driven up our referrals. So when somebody refers, we do a gift to surprise and delight to them, and we take a photo for social media with the referrer and the referee. We also have a client success manager.” So this is a person who’s not a coach, but their job is just client relationships. “And she’s allowed to spend up around 50 bucks, with a hundred dollars max, and they can give something meaningful to the person who makes a referral.” So this gym is on the leaderboard. They’re Number 6, and they are focusing on client referrals more than anything else. “A big driver of our revenue increases,” they said, “has been building a referral culture in the gym. Our mission is using fitness to create personal connection. So we do a lot of secondary programs like personal training and nutrition, but that maintains constantly, and we grow our groups all the time by working on referrals.” Love it. Okay, another gym on the Top 10 gives this advice: “We are diligently focused on generating current Google reviews. I ask five members per week and remind five that haven’t submitted anything.”
Chris Cooper (14:32):
“The gym performs well on organic search. We get 30-50 new leads per month from the organic Google marketing. I’ve experimented with paid ads, but haven’t seen as much traffic that way. So I focus on keeping our Google reviews steady and fresh. We have about 180 reviews at 4.5 to five stars. I pull a list of new members around the 90-day mark, and as long as they come regularly, I’ll ask them to do a Google review. Secondly, to increase No Sweat Intro availability, we’re trying to cross-train our client success managers on sales, making early morning and late evening and weekend availability for the NSIs.” So right now, this gym owner has himself and three staff members doing sales and lead nurture. So this is where you know, their salesperson is really like their client success person—where you could even train a coach, right? And then that way the new client has a personal connection who can say, “Hey, I met you at the NSI. I’m gonna make sure your first 90 days to your lifetime journey is great.” They’re focusing on retention, and keep keeping those clients around. So what you hear over and over with these themes are “here’s how I get clients. But more than anything, here’s how I keep clients.” And you hear over and over with these gyms that have massive revenue that they’re not focused on, like, “How do I bring in 30 new clients next month?” Or “how do I generate a hundred new leads?” It’s “how do I keep people longer? How do I develop my staff? How do I create an entrepreneurial opportunity for my staff? How do I make my service get better and better and better? And how do I create more and more touchpoints with my clients?”
Chris Cooper (16:08):
I am so proud of these gyms. If you’re on the Top 10 leaderboard, hey, I’m proud of you for inspiring the rest of us. If you’re not on the leaderboard this month, I’m proud of you for fighting to get on there by building a business that will save more lives. I’m Chris Cooper. This is “Run a Profitable Gym.” If you wanna ask questions or talk about this episode at any time, join gymownersunited.com. There are 7,400 other gym owners in that group. We keep it light, we keep it positive, we keep it helpful, and you know, we keep it Two-Brain. So until next time, make more revenue.